Can You Move and Transplant a Tree? -
Home > Moving Guides > Before Your Move > Finding Specialty Movers > Can You Move and Transplant a Tree?

Can You Move and Transplant a Tree?

  3.5/5 based on 1440 visitor(s)
views  10,909 Views

People often have special attachments to certain trees in their yard. Perhaps it's your great-grandfather's fig tree that he imported from Italy many years ago... or your childhood hangout spot where you swung on a tire swing. Maybe you had your first kiss with your fiancé under a maple tree that you carved your initials in.

There are many sentimental or logical reasons to why someone would want to move a tree, either with them to a new location or perhaps just a better spot in the yard. Sometimes certain areas of your yard get too crowded or no longer gets enough sunlight, and homeowners need to move the tree from one spot in their yard to another.

For those who plan on taking their special tree with them wherever they go, there is good news for you. It is possible to move and transplant a tree. There are special moving companies whose only job is to transplant trees from one place to another. No matter how large the tree is, there are movers available to bring it to wherever you please. The bigger the tree and the longer the distance it has to travel, the more expensive the tree transplant will be.

How expensive is it to transplant a tree?

Moving a tree, especially a large one, isn't a small project. Since trees' roots can stretch deep underground, tree movers have to use hydraulic spades and other equipment to extract, transport and replant them.
The cost of this service can be quite high, depending on the size of the tree and how many you want to move. Should you decide to hire a tree mover, make sure you get multiple estimates in order to get the best price possible.

How do I find a tree mover?

Look online and request quotes. Select a few that provide the specific service you need (conventional tree transplant, large tree transplant, giant tree transplant, etc.). Compare prices and track records. Just as with any other mover, you'll want to make sure that your tree mover is licensed, insured and has a good reputation.

When should I transplant my tree?

The time of year in which you move your tree is very important to how sucessful the transportation will be. The basic rule of thumb is that you want to move the tree while it is dormant. Trees fall dormant at different times, but most will fall dormant in the spring or fall.

If you plan on moving your tree in the fall, make sure you transplant it before the first frost. You want to transport your tree during the its dormant period. If you move a tree while it has fruit and leaves, it will suffer from transplant shock and have a hard time establishing itself in its new home.

You don't want to move a tree in winter because the ground will be frozen. Besides the added difficulty of breaking through frozen ground, you have a higher chance of causing root damage in the cold.

We created a table to help inform you on the correct time to move certain trees:

Type of tree Best time to transplant
Pine or evergreen Early fall
Oak Early spring (February or March)
Maple Late fall
Fruit Early spring (before growing season starts)

How do they transplant a tree?

The process may vary slightly from one company to the next, but this should give you an idea of what to look for from your tree mover.

Moving a tree in six steps:

  1. The tree movers will prepare the receiving site by clearing obstructions and diging a hole for the tree and its roots
  2. A large device, called a tree spade, uses large, hydraulic powered arms to dig and scoop out the tree
  3. The tree, along with the tree spade, is loaded and secured onto a truck and is transported to the new location
  4. The tree spade and tree are lowered into the receiving hole
  5. The tree spade has controls that allow the movers to make sure the tree is level
  6. Once the tree is in its proper place, the blades of the tree spade are withdrawn, and any open areas of ground around the tree are filled in

Tree excavation (and replanting) is a very delicate process, so many tree moving services offer post-transplant care options. Using their expertise in this area will ensure that your tree takes root and flourishes in its new home.

Scott Myers  Posted by Scott Myers on October 11, 2018

Rate this guide Can You Move and Transplant a Tree?